A while back a friend of mine was awakened in the middle of the night by noises in his front room. He lay momentarily paralyzed in his bed, his wife snoring softly next to him, his children in their rooms, much closer to the area where he had heard the noises.
My friend got out of bed and slipped to his bathrobe and slippers, and being a good liberal American, he didn’t own a gun. He instead reached for his trusty Louisville Slugger, wondering only momentarily why again he didn’t believe in handguns.
He crept down the long dark hallway toward the stairway landing watching small flickers below, as though someone were smoking, and hearing the soft thrum of voices. He remembered the scene in Get Shorty where Gene Hackman found John Travolta watching Rio Bravo in his living room.
My friend descended the stairs. He peeked around the edge at the bottom, into the living room. He was frightened and appalled by what he saw next.
His living room was filled with people he had never seen before in his life. They were consuming packages of chips from his pantry, sandwiches and beer from his refrigerator. One was smoking a joint from his personal stash that he had hidden from his 14 year old.
Most of them didn’t look dangerous, … well, one maybe a little bit. Still, they were in his house, consuming his groceries and smoking his (he really needed to quit) dope.
My friend bolstered his courage, choked up on the bat and stepped out. “What are you doing in my house?” he exclaimed. “How did you get in here? You’re trespassing! Breaking and entering! You’re stealing my food.” My liberal friend doesn’t give a lot to charity. That’s what taxes are for.
The short fellow sitting in his armchair, a man with kind brown eyes and a soft smile, looked up at my liberal friend. He seemed to be the spokesman.
“We are not trespassing, Señor,” he said. “And the chips and beer were just lying there in plain sight. They were free. Manuel stumbled onto the marijuana.” He turned to Manuel, the one who looked the meanest. “He shouldn’t have taken it.” He looked back at me. “We are a law abiding people.”
Well my friend was nonplused. “How in the world can you say you’re law abiding? You are trespassing in my house! You are watching my television and eating my food without permission! Trespassing!”
The intruder smiled softly again.
“No, Señor, we are not trespassing,” the spokesman said evenly. “We are immigrating.”